It concerns me that there is a common view in organisations that collaboration within the organisation has been very poor (usually with no evidence to support the assertion) and the only solution is to adopt new IT applications.  If only it was that easy. The reality is that any new IT application will require people to change the way that they work to achieve what they see as the same outcome. If the level of user adoption is low (even among people in the same team) then not only will the IT investment have been wasted but collaboration effectiveness may have been adversely affected.

If you recognise the need to have a strategy to increase user adoption then the second edition of Michael Sampson’s User Adoption Strategies book will give you twenty to choose from. Michael recognises that there will be ‘first wave’ adopters who immediately see the possibilities of these technologies and so the focus of his book is on ‘second wave’ adopters who cannot make the intuitive leap from knowing  features of the technology to knowing how to get the best out of it.

There are three main sections of the book, Setting the Scene, The Model and the Strategies, and User Adoption at Your Organisation. The three chapters of Setting the Scene cover the context for user adoption strategies, understanding the issues around change management and the benefits and challenges of adopting new ways of working. Then you come to the core of the book, with chapters covering winning attention, cultivating business concepts, enlivening applicability and making user adoption real. The final section of the book is designed to help readers develop a user adoption solution that best fits their own organisation, including a very good chapter (new to the Second Edition) on measuring the extent and impact of user adoption.

Throughout the 300 pages of the book Michael seamlessly integrates the experience from his many consulting assignments and workshops with case studies, research papers, blogs and references to other books. In addition Michael presents the results of surveys he conducted in 2010 and again this year. The quality of the writing and presentation are both excellent, and once again Michael has achieved a standard of self-publication that most commercial publishers would be proud to achieve.  The format is the same as his Collaboration Roadmap, a little larger than the 2010 edition of User Adoption Strategies.  Each book costs $US39, a small price to pay for so much good advice. Both books stand on their own but the combination will give you all you need to make a substantial improvement on the impact that collaborative working has on the achievement of business and personal objectives. 

Martin White